Monday, 28 November 2011

Ken Russell - 1927-2011

Ken Russell could not "pass away". He died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday  after a series of strokes which would have felled a lesser man long ago. And he died with a smile on his face. Earlier this year he gave an interview during a break from hospital. Cheerfully drinking wine and living life to the full. 

His son Alex has asked, "Please play some music as a prayer for Ken to hear in Heaven". Alex's first choice  was Berlioz Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale.I'm trying to think of something. Mephisto Waltz Symphonie fantastique? Something quixotic, but which reflects Ken's irrepressible love of life. Strangely my favourite Ken Russell was Song of Summer about Eric Fenby's encounter with Delius. It comes from the same period as Women in Love and The Devils, at the height of the Swinging Sixties, but is completely different. It's a film that shows how deeply sensitive Ken really was. Delicate, thoughtful nuances, you could feel how Fenby felt in the presence of his hero. So maybe the music I'll choose is

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